2020 Lexus Song Quest


After reviewing safety and equity concerns, we have decided to postpone the Lexus Song Quest to 2021. In order to ensure equal access and conditions of entry for all applicants and to uphold the standard of excellence the Quest is known for worldwide, we felt the fairest approach is to run the entire process from early 2021. We will make a one-year adjustment to the conditions of entry to allow for those competitors at the top end of the age range this year to still be eligible next year; this means applicants up to the age of 33 years will be able to audition for the 2021 competition as an exceptional one-off condition.

Currently, we are working through venue availability whilst keeping an eye on changing government regulations and guidelines around the Covid-19 pandemic in order to confirm a revised schedule for the Quest next year.

We will release new dates as soon as we are able however applicants can expect the registration process to open towards the end of this year for a closing date of mid-late March 2021 as per this year.

On our journey to find the voices of tomorrow, Lexus Song Quest has discovered the great singers of today. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Malvina Major, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Jonathan Lemalu, Sol3 Mio’s Amitai Pati are all previous Lexus Song Quest winners who now grace the opera stages of the world.

In 2021 the stakes have never been higher, with up to $95,000 in prizes up for grabs. Who will win?

Road to the Final

The start of each Lexus Song Quest marks the beginning of an exhilarating ride for a special group of New Zealand’s best young singers. As with any journey, there is the excitement of adventure, some roadblocks to navigate, and delight when we reach our destination. Plus we learn heaps along the way…
lexussongquestsharingimage.original (1).png

The Prizes

The Lexus Song Quest prize-winners will receive both a cash prize and a Lexus Study Scholarship.

The Winner

Will receive an immediate cash prize of $20,000 net and a Study Scholarship of $27,000, plus economy international travel up to the value of $3,000.

The Runner Up

Will receive an immediate cash prize of $10,000 net supported by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation and a Study Scholarship of $10,000.

Additional Prizes

Each finalist will each receive an immediate cash prize of $3,500 net.

A $15,000 Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation scholarship will also be awarded.


2018 Lexus Song Quest winner

"It was also an extremely special honor to look at the list of past Lexus Song Quest winners and know that my name will be amongst the greats."
- Joel Amosa

Meet the Judges

Head Judge

Teddy Tahu Rhodes

Mr Rhodes has performed internationally with the opera companies of San Francisco, Austin, Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cincinnati, Houston, The Metropolitan Opera -New York, the Hamburg Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper- Munich, Theatre du Chatelet - Paris, in Vienna, Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera.

Recent seasons include Escamillo (Hamburg, Théatre du Chatalet/Paris, Munich, Bilbao, Metropolitan Opera, OA), Don Giovanni (OA, WA Opera), Scarpia /Tosca (WA Opera), Emille de bec/ South Pacific (OA Australian Tour) and King of Siam/The King and I (OA Australian Tour). Teddy debuted the roles of Méphistophélès/Faust (OA, SOSA and WA Opera), the title role in Sweeney Todd (Victorian Opera), the title role in Don Giovanni (OA’s new production), a concert tour From Broadway to La Scala (Australia, and NZ), Scarpia (WA Opera, Opera NZ) and William Tell and I Capuleti ei Montecchi (Victorian Opera).

In 2019 Teddy joined Victorian Opera to perform Titurel (Parsifal), Opera Australia to perform Lord Sidney (Il viaggio a Reims - Sydney and Melbourne), Enrico VIII(Anna Bolena - Sydney) and Mephistopheles(Faust - Melbourne), as well as an Australian tour- From Broadway to La Scala. In 2020 Teddy returns to Opera Australia to sing Mephistopheles (Faust - Sydney), The Auckland Philharmonia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, State Opera of South Australia and Sydney Philharmonia Choir.

Awards include an ARIA, two Helpmann Awards, a Limelight Award, a Green Room Award plus a MO Award.

Discography includes ABC Classics’ Fauré's Requiem and Le naissance de Vénus, Handel's Messiah, solo discs including Mozart Arias, The Voice, Vagabond, The Bach Arias, Mozart Requiem, Serious Songs, You’ll Never Walk Alone (with David Hobson), Teddy Tahu RhodesMahler, There was a Man Lived in the Moon and I’ll Walk Beside You. He also appears on the CD/DVD recording of The Little Prince for Sony International/ BBC, on CD/DVD Haley Westenra Live, DVD of Peter Grimes at the Metropolitan Opera for EMI Classics, the Metropolitan Opera’s Carmen and Chandos’ Love for Three Oranges.

Preliminary Judges

Roxane Hislop


Gregory Yurisich


18 & 19 July 2020


Grand Final

15 August 2020



11 & 16 August 2020

Wellington & Auckland